Legends of Tomorrow season 3, episode 11 recap: Time loop turmoil

Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW -- Legends of Tomorrow CWPR
Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW -- Legends of Tomorrow CWPR /

A new episode of Legends of Tomorrow gave Zari a chance to shine after the Waverider got trapped in a time loop.

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“Here I Go Again” was a very strange, but thoroughly enjoyable, installment of Legends of Tomorrow. By zeroing in on Zari’s (Tala Ashe) character and finally making her an essential part of the team, this episode gave the series an added layer of depth.

By giving me a greater sense of the Legends’ interior lives, writers Ray Utarnachitt and Morgan Faust have made me more invested in the larger narrative. Instead of good guys versus bad guys, this episode reframed the conflict as being between people who want to save the future and those who want to dominate it. Plus, it was really, really funny.

Legends of Tomorrow
Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — Legends of Tomorrow CWPR /

This week’s episode opened with Zari loading a new program on Gideon’s systems. Its function was to detect loopholes in the time stream that would allow surreptitious alterations of history.  Will But its complexity overloaded the ship’s systems and took Gideon offline. Returning from rescuing Napoleon from the ‘70s, Sara (Caity Lotz) chided Zari for trying to subvert history. Zari attempted to fix the ship but it exploded before she got the chance. Zari then found herself stuck in a time loop, beginning with the argument with Sara and ending with the destruction of the Waverider.

Although it would’ve been fun to see any Legend stuck in a time loop, Zari was definitely the right pick. Her character has taken something of a backseat since Mallus has become more prominent, so it was cool to see her take center stage. I was happy to see that just being on the Waverider didn’t convert her to the Legends non-interventionist mindset. And I liked that she called Sara out for saving time while letting the future fall to fascism. After all, stepping up to stop preventable tragedies should be a central goal for all superheroes.

Legends of Tomorrow
Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — Legends of Tomorrow CWPR /

“Mama Mia, here I go again”

In her fourth loop through, Zari assembled the Legends and told them what was happening, but they didn’t believe her. Eventually, Zari convinced Nate (Nick Vento) of what was going on and they theorized that the ship had been sabotaged. Together, they investigated Mick (Dominic Purcell), who they found out was writing an erotic sci-fi novel. The pair then enlisted Ray (Brandon Routh) to spy on Sara. This investigation proved fruitless, other than them learning that Sara still hadn’t closed the deal with Agent Sharpe (Jes Macallan).

In a moment of despair, Zari considered killing herself to stop the loops, which finally convinced Sara to believe her. Together, the Legends discovered the cause of time loops; Time Agent Gary (Adam Tsekhman). He attempted to save the team but got stuck in a trash compactor. Thinking quickly, he locked the ship in a loop in hopes that the Legends would save themselves. Gary also revealed that a hidden bomb destroyed the ship. As it turned out, the bomb was located in an 8-track tape of ABBA’s “Waterloo.” Zari trapped herself behind a force to try to contain the bomb blast and gave a tearful speech telling each member of the group how she really felt about them.

Legends of Tomorrow
Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — Legends of Tomorrow CWPR /

In addition to giving Zari a spotlight, the episode was also a showcase for Tala Ashe. Turns out, she’s really, really good. She was equally convincing in conveying the different stages of amusement, frustration and desperation that Zari went through. That’s quite an emotional journey to go on in 41 minutes, but Ashe did so credibly, especially her big speech. It couldn’t have been easy to perform a scene where her character had to have an emotional breakthrough while also coming to terms with her own death. But Ashe nailed it by investing the speech with a heady mix of regret, admiration and grace.

“You know, for a guy who loves fire, you really have no idea how it works”

Seconds before the bomb exploded, Zari found herself in a virtual representation of the Waverider with Gideon’s human avatar. Gideon explained that after Zari was injured making repairs on the ship, she took the opportunity to help the ship’s newest crew member. To do so, Gideon created a simulation derived from her observations of the Legends to force her to connect with the team. The reason being, Zari’s program found that the only way she can fix her home timeline is with the help of the team.

With her newfound knowledge, Zari got Sara agree to help save her family; Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and Nate to confront their feeling; Rory to finish his book and Ray to come clean about Constantine’s (Matt Ryan) warning about Sara. All that airing of dirty laundry just helped the team grow closer together. In the epilogue, Rip (Arthur Darvill) arrived at a remote Chinese monastery to recruit Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) into his war against Mallus.

Next: Legends of Tomorrow Season 3, episode 10 recap: Raising hell

While this episode succeeded in spite of being plot light, it was great to see Wally again. Even more so considering how he was reintroduced. When the news broke that his character would be joining the show, I assumed that he was headed to the Waverider. The idea that he’s going to be part of Rip’s renegade team is way more intriguing. Now, it’s possible that he might end up in conflict with the team as well as Mallus. Though it would only serve to delay the Legends big showdown with Mallus, I unironically love big unnecessary superhero fights. They’re a comic book traditional the entire Arrowverse could indulge in more.

Legends of Tomorrow airs on The CW Tuesdays at 9 p.m.